Debunking 5 Common Blogging Myths!

In the digital marketing world, we write A LOT of blogs. In fact, here at Track5Media, you could probably argue that we spend the majority of our time each week on blogs. There’s a lot more to blogging than the average person may realize, so we thought it’d be a good idea to debunk some of the most common blogging myths that we’ve heard over the years. Keep reading!

Debunking 5 Common Blogging Myths

blogging myths

1. Blogging is easy!

I hear this all the time. When I tell somebody that I write blogs at work, they usually assume that it’s a piece of cake. Not quite. There’s much more to blogging than just writing a short article. As a matter of fact, simply coming up with a topic or title is hard enough. There’s a ton of topic generation and keyword research that goes behind choosing a blog topic. So, no, we can’t just write about “anything.” Not only is writing a blog tricky, but it’s difficult to come up with new and unique ways to promote the content. If blogging was easy, everyone would be doing it!

2. If you can’t write, you can’t blog.

“I would like to try blogging, but I’m not much of a writer…” Have you heard this before? Many people assume that only skilled writers can produce worthwhile blog content, but this is not the case. For example, there are some blogs that include little to no writing at all! Some bloggers tell their stories with pictures, videos, or drawings. Additionally, most bloggers grow and develop over time. It’s not like every blogger started out as an avid writer or an author!

On the other hand, not all good writers will be good bloggers! Blog writing has its own style and techniques, and even the most advanced writers can struggle to write a blog!

3. “If you build it, they will come.”

Writing a blog post itself is only a fraction of the blogging process. One of the most common blogging myths is that once you have a blog in place with a few posts, you’ll gain traffic. In reality, that’s when your work really starts. Like we said above, there are a whole bunch of content promotion and distribution strategies that come after writing that initial blog post. But it doesn’t end there! In marketing, we have to learn a lot about interpreting our blogs’ analytics, which is a monster in and of itself.

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4. Blogging is just a fad.

Many people assume that blogging is simply a fad that will phase out over time, like disco music or bell-bottom jeans. Actually, blogging has been around for years, and it has a ton to do with a business’s success. Similarly, some argue that blogging is dead or dying because there is just too much content online, and it’s growing much faster than people can actually consume it. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that blogging is “dead.” It may mean that there’s a smaller number of successful blogs, but there are still plenty of people to consume and enjoy the content.

5. People only read listicles.

Another popular blogging myth is that the only type of blog that performs well is listicles. What’s a listicle? Well, this blog is one. It’s a piece of content that’s presented in the form of a list. Think BuzzFeed articles, like “10 Crazy Things You Secretly Do in Private” or something like that. While this type of blog is popular and easy to read, it’s not the only show in town. Blogs can take the form of interviews, podcasts, editorials…you name it!

Alright bloggers, what are some other blogging myths that you’ve heard floating around? Share them with us in the comments below!

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Top 8 Things Only Marketers Understand

Digital marketing is not for the faint of heart. When you’re not busy busting your butt trying to promote your brands and carefully craft campaigns, you’re trying to explain to people what you actually do for a living. While it may be hard for most people to actually understand what you do, those who do understand can totally relate. So, without further ado, here are eight things only marketers understand!

8 Things Only Marketers Understand

things only marketers understand

1. The importance of content

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“Oh, so you write blogs for a living?” I get asked this one all the time. My answer is usually, “Not quite.” Yes, us digital marketers do write a ton of blogs, but there’s a reason for it! We’re not just writing five blogs a week for fun. Creating fresh, engaging content is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing.

2. When said content doesn’t get engagement

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So you’ve just spent three hours slaving away over a blog post. You’ve done all the keyword and topic research imaginable, and you’re confident that this could be the best blog you’ve ever written. You share the blog on your brand’s social media page and…nothing. What’s worse, the stolen meme you shared two days prior got dozens of likes and shares. It happens to the best of us. All you can really do is shake it off and get back at it.

3. When your social media campaign is a total flop

angry gordon ramsay GIF by Hell's Kitchen

Not much is worse than spending months brainstorming, planning, and executing a social media campaign only for it to be unsuccessful. It feels like all of the hard work you did was for nothing! While this may be a total buzzkill, all marketers know that failed campaigns teach valuable lessons. In fact, they’re almost beneficial, since they allow you to analyze what went wrong so you’re better prepared for the next one!

4. You’re really good at trivia

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I mean, what can you expect from someone who spends their whole day online? Whether it’s doing research for a blog post or taking a look at competitors, us marketers stumble across loads of facts and bits of seemingly useless information on a daily basis. That said, we’re definitely the most valued members of any bar trivia team.

5. When Google changes their search algorithms…again

amazon original no GIF by Hand of God

This may be one of the most frustrating things only marketers understand. It’s often difficult to stay up to date on big industry game-changers. Just when you think you’ve got your SEO plan down to a T, Google changes everything. While this may make you want to hurl a coffee mug at the wall, it’s important to stay alert! Make sure your marketing plan is flexible so you’ll have some room for change.

6. Spelling mistakes make your whole body cringe

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Spelling mistakes may seem like nothing more than a minor inconvenience for some people, but not for digital marketers! Bad grammar or spelling can make leads or clients question your credibility. Are you really going to trust a company that uses the wrong form of “your” in an email marketing campaign? Probably not.

7. You’re tired of seeing the same stock images everywhere

tired andy griffith GIF by TV Land Classic

The website Track5Media uses for stock photos has millions of images, but we still see the same ones pop up over and over again. Ah, the photo of a young nurse and her elderly patient giving the camera a “thumbs up,” we meet again.

8. Trying to understand the monster that is SEO

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If you work in a marketing job, you know how crucial SEO is for a business, and there’s a lot to it. While we’d like to think that we have a good grasp on SEO, sometimes we end up ranking for keywords other than what we optimized for, or our sites receive random, unexplainable spikes of traffic. At the end of the day, as much as you can study analytics and use SEO tools, some things just don’t have an explanation.

That’s a wrap! What would you add to this list of things only marketers understand? Let us know in the comments below!

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Track5Media | Lancaster Tech Company

Imagine walls painted bright green and burnt orange; a long row of salty delicious snacks lined up in the kitchen; the constant aroma of coffee drifting across the room and Throwback Thursday ‘90s music playing quietly from Spotify. That’s me setting the scene of the Track5Media office space. Let’s talk more about the snacks. We don’t just get free coffee and breakfast bars – we have small bags of Lays chips, Goldfish, Doritos, breakfast sandwiches, and every once in a while, unique treats. This month it’s Mochi ice cream. Who knew Japanese ice cream could trigger such endless conversation in a typically quiet, focused group of workers? It’s so good. It’s too cold on my teeth. What’s the chewy covering on the outside? Our curiosity about Mochi is probably equivalent to your questions about our Lancaster tech company – what are they creating in there? What do they do exactly? Are they a media company? Luckily for you, I’m here to tell you the top five things you didn’t know about Track5Media but always wondered.

Top Five Things You Didn’t Know About Track5Media

Lancaster tech company

Here are the five things you didn’t know about Track5Media, from what we do to where the company’s name came from!

1. We build lead generation websites and market our own brands

I think there’s some confusion about what exactly Track5Media does. Despite the name of the company, we are not a media company. We are also not a marketing agency. We are, in fact, a technology company that builds lead generation websites. In simpler terms, we build job board websites for niche markets. For example, TravelNuseSource.com is a job board that nurses can use to find available jobs that are posted to the site by our clients (healthcare agencies). Although we are heavy in marketing, we are marketing our own brands and do not sell our marketing services. All of our in-house marketing is focused on making our websites stronger to benefit our clients. Our goal is to drive traffic to our websites so that we can help hiring agencies to find solid leads.

2. We have two locations… and they’re both awesome for different reasons

Track5Media is a Lancaster tech company, and our headquarters remain on the west side of Lancaster City. However, this summer we opened a second location in St. Petersburg, Florida. Both locations are awesome for several reasons. Lancaster is great because that’s where the awesomeness all began. Most of our employees are still in Lancaster, and the location is surrounded by beautiful parks, eclectic restaurants, and the unique and culture of Lancaster County. If you enjoy hiking, nature, small cities, and a more laid-back atmosphere, Lancaster’s the place to be. The St. Petersburg location, on the other hand, is awesome because it’s close to the beaches, and the backbone of our team (all of our developers) work there! We literally couldn’t exist without our Florida co-workers. If you’re drawn to pristine waters, sandy beaches and a lively nightlife – check out St. Pete!

Lancaster tech company

3. Track5Media employees are spoiled… and we know it

To work for Track5Media is to be spoiled. And I don’t mean because they pay us to work there. I hope your company does too! What I mean is, as well as the snacks, we get several team outings throughout the year, such as trips to Hershey Park and happy hours. We have pizza parties. Some of us even get to travel for work, like our annual trip to Dallas, TX. Our CEO does annual reviews with each of us, which includes a lunch date with him. We also have exceptional benefits, like health insurance covered by the company! Yes, you read the right. I told you we are spoiled.

4. We win awards and cool stuff like that

Did you know that Track5Media is on the Inc. 5000 list for 2018? That’s right! We are not only one of the fastest-growing Lancaster tech companies, but we are one of the fastest in the nation!

5. The name Track5Media has no fun story behind it…

All this bragging about how great we are – I’d like to tell you that there’s this really cool, deep, meaningful story behind the name Track5Media. There’s not. The company’s founder, Oliver Feakins, just thought it sounded cool and decided to name his company that.

So, there you have it –  some fun facts about the Lancaster tech company. What are other things you didn’t know about Track5Media? Ask us in the comments below!

Onsite VS Offsite SEO

If you’ve read some of my blogs based around SEO that was written early in my Track5Media career, you’d see that I was just dipping my toes into the SEO waters. I’ve covered everything from link building tactics to SEO audits. However, now that I’m almost two years into my SEO role, I feel like I FINALLY have a grasp on two of the most important aspects of the industry – Onsite and Offsite SEO. Onsite VS Offsite SEO is something that not all companies think about. In many cases, they’ll focus on one aspect, but not the other. However, if you’re able to execute both, you’ll see your brand grow in popularity as you climb the ranks on the SERPS. Below we’ll take a look at Onsite VS Offsite SEO and how you can optimize both to grow your online presence.

Onsite VS Offsite SEO

What is SEO?

Onsite SEO is done by adjusting certain components of the site so that the intent of your content can be clearly understood by search engines. Using various SEO tactics, you’ll be average to leverage your site to ensure that you’re ranking high on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) when they search for specific keywords. SEO is a major component of any digital marketing campaign, but it’s still something that not every company pays attention to. We’ll break it down into two separate categories and go over Onsite VS Offsite SEO.

Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO is the process of making your website search engine friendly. To do this, you’ll be adjusting various elements on your page to make sure that Google can crawl the page and index it with ease. “Crawling” is essentially when Google’s bots comb through your pages to determine the relevancy of your website. If your website is about used cars, they’ll try to make sure that your website appears when people search for that term. Here are just a few key elements that you need to consider when optimizing your pages to be SEO friendly,

Title Tags and Descriptions – You want to include the keyword in both the title tag and description because that will be the first thing that Google crawls. Try to fit in the keywords at the beginning of both.

H1 and H2s – When crawling your site, search engine bots look at your headers as a shortcut for understanding the content. Your H1 should be larger and stand out from the rest of the text. It should also contain the keyword you’re trying to rank for because H1s are one of the first elements of your site that are crawled.

Content – We’ve written plenty of blogs about it, but the fact remains that content is key. When it comes to onsite SEO, writing keyword-rich, informative content is what with separate you from your competitors. Internal pages are often the first destination a visitor to the website will land on from the search engines, links from other sites or PPC campaigns. The goal is to provide high quality, useful, and easily digestible information that will meet the needs of the reader such as an answer to a question, a product they desire, or a service they need.

onsite vs offsite seo

Offsite SEO

When it comes to onsite VS offsite SEO, offsite SEO is very different. Instead of optimizing your own pages, you’ll be interacting with other websites to grow the authority of your website. Offsite SEO is the concept of having other sites link back to yours, indicating that you are an authority in your industry. The Google search engine algorithm places a decent amount of weight on authority for a site. This can come from the site having been around and active for a long period or time, or from outside engagement. In the onsite VS offsite SEO realm, having an authoritative site will ensure that your brand gets the exposure it needs to be successful. Below are a few offsite SEO techniques that you should take advantage of.

Link Building – I like to think of this tactic as my specialty. Just in the last year, I’ve built over 100 links for our brands. So what? Well, links provide “link juice” that goes to your site and tells Google that you have an authoritative voice when it comes to the subject you’re covering. These links not only drive your site up the search rankings, but they also will cause an increase in traffic and in many cases, conversions. It’s also important that you’re getting links from “good” sites. When links are coming from trusted, relevant sources and are backed by high-quality content; the results are positive.

Influencer Outreach and Social Media – This tactic won’t get links directly, but outreach to influencers via email and social media will create buzz around your site. This will then increase the chances that you get links to your site. This is a great way to indirectly create more links to your brand.

Content, Content, Content – Not only does content help with onsite SEO, but it always helps with offsite as well. Creating great content to pitch to potential link partners. Nobody wants to link to thin content, which is why it’s important to write content that’s both unique and thorough.

When discussing onsite VS offsite SEO it’s important to know that both types of initiatives play a vital role in the success of your website. If you have any other SEO tips to share, feel free to drop them in the comments below!

Track5 Takes on Philly | Marketing Attends Digital Summit 2018

Sometimes, the most valuable thing you take away from traveling to a business conference isn’t industry related – sometimes it’s the connections you build with your team members, and the shared experience of going into it together. This week our marketing team traveled from Lancaster to Philadelphia for the Digital Summit marketing conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

There’s only three of us in the marketing department, and we spend 40 hours a week at work. So basically, we spend more time together than we do with our families, significant others or friends. Yet, were rarely spend that time getting to know each other or doing what some would call “team building.” This week, we were able to do both – grow professionally while learning more about each other. As a result, we have returned with new knowledge and as a stronger team!

With that said, here are four highlights of our trip to Philly and the top three things we learned at the Digital Summit marketing conference!

Four Highlights of Our Trip to Philly

1. We explored the city

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Philadelphia is notorious for its mural art and breathtaking architecture. But it doesn’t have the nickname of Filthadelphia for no reason… there’s lots of trash on the streets, and sadly, many homeless people who are struggling. Luckily, we were able to admire some art and feed a few of the less fortunate while we were in town. It was fun just to stroll through the neighborhoods and check things out together.

2. We got to hang out in a casual setting

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Our team enjoyed a few drinks at BRÜ Craft & Wurst. From left to right: Lenay, Troy, and Margaret

There’s something to be said about a casual happy hour with your coworkers. Want to try my beer? Ew, that one is gross. I like mine better. Seated outside on a busy, Center City street, we people watch. A group of drunk college girls stumbles by, one snacking on her leftover pizza right out of the box. This triggers story time… “I remember when I was in college… ” You learn a lot about your coworkers when you break free from the office walls. And it feels good to laugh and relate on a personal level after a long day of work and travel.

3. We ate some delicious food

We may have many differences, but thankfully, we all like Italian food. Not to rub it in or anything, but we ate pretty well on our work trip…

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Maggiano’s Center City Philadelphia

4. We learned a lot at the Digital Summit marketing conference

Just to be clear, we didn’t only eat, drink and gossip on this trip. We also learned a lot and shared an incredible experience networking with thousands of other people in our industry. I’ll admit it. We nerded out a bit and got excited about trending digital marketing topics.

With that said, here are the top three take-a-ways I learned at the Digital Summit marketing conference:

Top Three Take-a-Ways from the Digital Summit Marketing Conference

1. There are always new tools emerging for marketers

The two most helpful tools I learned about at the conference were related to SEO and page design. The first tool I learned about was an additional plug-in for Yoast that tells you what blogs you already have on WordPress that might be related to the one you’re currently writing. The plug-in lists these blogs on the right side as you’re typing, which is great in helping you create internal links. I can see this tool being especially helpful for people who are new to the marketing team. For example, our interns don’t necessarily know everything we’ve written about in the past.

Another tool I learned about, which would be extremely helpful for all of our brands is tinypng.com. It is a website that compresses your images so that the file size isn’t so big. Large images often slow down page load time, but yet you don’t want to alter the size and distort the image. This tool reduces the image file size without compromising its quality.

2. Talk to your consumers the way you wish businesses would talk to you

Sometimes people say the simplest of things, and yet a reminder of something so basic can change everything. For example – talk to your consumers the way you wish businesses would talk to you. One speaker pointed out that there’s probably a pizza shop in every town that is advertising as “the world’s best pizza.” We don’t believe those signs, right? Then why would we market to our audience that way? Think about how to deliver a message to your fans that is authentic, sincere and still incentivizes them to use your brand. This thought process can also be applied when emailing prospects for link building. Don’t shoot them a basic email with a weak sale. Talk to them like you would your friend, and see how far your authenticity will take you.

3. Don’t forget to work on yourself

The third and most memorable take-a-way from this year was something related to soft skills. Across the board, I think this is the most important thing we could all improve upon – time management and productivity. The final keynote speaker, Daniel Pink, is notorious for compiling and explaining various research on timing. A best-selling author of several books on behavioral science, he raised some really good points. For example, he asked, what point in our workday are we most alert? Then, what type of work are we doing during that time? He broke it down for us. Most people have three stages to their day: a peak, a trough and a recovery. What does that mean? Basically, you’re sharpest in the morning and at night, with a lull midday. Sounds familiar, right? According to Pink, you should do your analytical work in the morning (that means stop checking emails right when you get to work!), do your administrative tasks when you’re in your trough stage and do your insightful or creative projects last.

Pink - Digital Summit Marketing Conference

Best-selling Author Daniel Pink was the Keynote Speaker at the Digital Summit marketing conference.

Were you at the digital summit? What did you learn? Share with us in the comments below!